Life

Exam tips

postivethinkingBeing a university student, it is hard to stay motivated during the exam season. As this is my 4th year in uni and I already have some experience with exams, I would like to share some tips with you that will help you to pass your exams:

DO NOT STRESS

You all have probably heard this a lot already, but it is true. Do not stress. Why would you stress? The exam is do-able, otherwise other people would not have passed this exam before you. If others can do it, you certainly can too. Do not worry, you got this. Stress will only make things worse because it will distract you from thinking clearly. You got this. And even if you don’t, it is not the end of the world. You will not die. You will just have to take the exam again. Maybe. But let’s stay positive, you got this! 🙂

DO NOT STUDY  BY HEART, STUDY IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND

Obviously, this depends from what you actually are studying, but a lot of people tend to try to study everything by heart when they have a history course. However, studying by heart will not bring you anything in the long term. Trying to understand will help you a lot more during your exams and in the future. There is a lot of logic in things. For example in the fields of history or economics, there are a lot of action-reaction phenomena. Try to understand these, and once you do, you will be able to memorize everything you studied during the semester in no-time.

DO NOT FORGET TO RELAX

Relaxing and distraction is the key to efficient studying. You rarely have courses that last longer than 2 hours at the time. Why? Because it is really hard to stay focused after two hours of intensive work. Try to study for about 1h30-2h and then thake a 10-minute break: go walk your dog, stretch your legs, go talk to you siblings, get some distraction in general. I would suggest to not get this distraction in the form of social media or anything technology-related. You are probably staring at your screen the whole time already, so just give yourself a break. Also, it is better to change environment during your study-break. This way, you have a seperated “study-environment” and a “relax-environment” and it will be easier to keep yourself from procrastination.

IF YOU DO NOT FEEL LIKE STUDYING, DON’T

Nothing is worse than being unmotivated, sitting the whole day at your desk and just staring at the screen or at your course notes, but not getting ahead. If you feel like you are particularly unmotivated one day, just don’t study (preferably not the day before your big exam). Give yourself a break, go do something fun that will change your mind and will put you in the right and positive headspace. If you force yourself to study, you are only wasting your own time. You will be even more unmotivated after a whole day of procrastination/studying because you did not get ahead and this can have a negative outcome on the next couple of days. Just go do something fun and then when you are back, continue studying. It is not the end of the world if you do not study for a couple of hours. If you are procrastination in front of your computer screen, you are not doing anything either way.

I know I emphasise relaxing a lot, but it really is imporant. Up until now (it is my 4th univeristy year), I did not fail any course yet and I never really study when I do not feel like it, when I am not in the right headspace.

Positivity and self confidence is everything. You can do it, you got this!

You-can-do-it-

Life

Power

A few weeks ago, I went to London really early one morning. As I arrived in the city center at 7:30AM, I discovered something about life.

London is the capital city of the UK and probably one of the most popular destinations for tourists all over the world. More than 30 million tourists visit The City every year. Yet, when we arrived everything was as good as empty. Big Ben? Nobody around. Piccadilly Circus? I was not even sure whether we were really there, because when you are as good as alone on that square, it looks really different. China Town? Apart from some people walking around, it was empty.

I discovered that wherever you are in the world, whatever place you are at, you are one of the reasons it is what it is. We all make places what they are. Without all the tourists that visit London, The City would not be what it is.

We are the reason why places are famous or important. The same goes with people – somebody is only as powerful as they are because you allow them to be.

This is what I learned during this trip – I am the one who gives power to the people in my life. If somebody is in a position to hurt me, they are only there because I allowed them to be. If somebody is in a position to make me happy, they are only there because I allowed them to be. I am the one who decides in my life – no matter what others tell me. I am in charge. And today, I decide to be happy.

Life

Anger

Sometimes I do not want to be Lisa. I do not want to be me. I just want to not exist and never have existed. Life can get tough and complicated, but why do problems seem to be most complicated in mine?

Other people’s grandparents die too. Fair enough. Do other people have grandparents who have extramarital children? Do these extramarital children, who never have been recognized, run the whole funeral and decide who is to come and who is not?

Do these extramarital children take pictures of how their father is being cremated and share them with the whole family? If so, please tell me. Tell me so I can feel better about everything I have witnessed this week.

Today’s feeling is anger. Anger because I try to solve problems but nobody is listening. Anger because I feel so helpless. At this point, I do not want to be me. I do not want to overthink every single thing somebody does. I just want to be carefree and happy. I am angry because I cannot change who I am. I cannot change where I come from. I am angry because I am ashamed. Ashamed of myself.

Life

Sadness

Even though I have not posted in a few months and my diet – obviously – failed immensely, I thought I would write something because I am really, really really sad right now.

Basically what happened is my grandfather fell ill in the end of October (this has nothing to do with me stopping working out or eating healthy).

He got diagnosed with Esophageal cancer. Initally, the doctors said he would not make Christmas. And then he made it. The doctors said he would not make his birthday in February. And then he made it. The doctors said he would not make Easter. And then he made it. After having it wrong multiple times, the doctors did not make any predictions anymore. A few weeks later my grandfather died.

This was yesterday. I do not really know how to cope. I guess we saw it coming, because he had been ill since October, and I know we have been really lucky to be given these last few months with him. It gave us a chance to visit him more regularly, share some old memories and make new ones.

Even though I am beyond grateful for every moment I had with my grandfather, I do not feel as if I have a place or moment to think about him and remember him. I wrote something that I might want to read out on his funeral, but I do not know if I want to do this, as I feel it is something really private and I do not agree with certain arrangements that my aunts are making about the funeral and I prefer to not be associated with their decisions.

As for now, I just want to cry because I lost one of the most important people in my life. But I also want to be angry, angry because he left us, angry because I know it is for the best, but I just do not want to accept it. I just do not know what to do or how to cope. I feel alone.

Diet

My first week of being on a diet

Hi,

Today it is exactly one week ago since I started my diet and so far it is going.. ok (?) I guess. Last week I worked out three times (as planned!) and I ate healthy for about 5 out of 7 days.

With ‘eating healthy’ I understand: salads, chicken with dry rice, … So I guess it is not a disaster if I eat to days a weak normally (because I am home during the weekends and when my mom cooks, I don’t really have a say in what she prepares).

I am starting to get into some kind of routine of going to university – working out – cooking – sleeping. A lot of procrastination in between obviously.. :). But I think it’s a good thing it is starting to become a routine, this way I hope I will not get seduced into not working out.

It is hard to force myself into working out and eating healthy and cooking myself, but in the end I get a lot out of it. Today I went to the supermarket and I bought some low fat yoghurts and some vegetables and I was just so proud of myself. I don’t know if anyone can relate, really, but I was so proud I was able to say ‘no’ to all the sweets in there!

There even was a woman handing out biscuits for people to try and I declined! It felt as a huge milestone because I was able to show other people I was on a diet too: I was not the only one who knew about it anymore.

Today I went to work out and when I got back, I started cooking: I made chicken in the oven (I put some olive oil and herbs on it and left it there for +/-40 minutes) and rice with a “low-fat curry” (I got a random recipe from the Internet and it was quite good actually! I threw an onion, an apple, some chicken boullion and a lot of curry powder together and it tasted really good!).

As you can read, my first week has been a successful one so far, I hope I can continue this way. If you are curious about how much I weigh now, I have decided to only check how many kilo’s I lost every three weeks, this way I will see better results (on the scale) and I hope it is also some kind of motivation for myself.

I just realized that going on a diet is not only about eating healthy and working out, it is also a psychological thing: keeping yourself motivated, finding ways and reasons to be proud of yourself and of what you are doing…

I hope I will be able to play this mindgame for a bit longer, but I will keep you updated either way!

X Lisa

Diet

The first day of my diet. And I almost bailed on working out.

Hi there,

After my first blog post yesterday evening, I felt obliged to really go on this diet I wrote about yesterday. And so it started.

In the morning I ate oats with low fat milk and I added some cinnamon, this afternoon I made some soup (with onions, red pepper and carrots) and I was sĂł proud of myself. So I just ate my soup and watched some television. And all of a sudden it already was 4 o’clock. 4 o’clock and I didn’t go to the gym yet.

Was I really going to skip the gym on my first day already?! Even I was disappointed, but I really did not want to go all the way to the gym. So I decided to go for a run instead (what?! I didn’t go for a run in over a year!). As it was the first time I went for a run in my university city, I decided to run to a nearby park.

It took me 35 minutes to run there, then I had a walk there and made some pictures, and I walked back to my dorm. Altogether I ran for 35 minutes and walked another 1 hour and 20 minutes. Below you see some pictures I made of the view, I was really impressed! So it was certainly worth it for me to go there.

The lesson I learnt about myself today: I am one lazy person. However I will try to force myself as much as possible to work out as much as possible, and hopefully I will enjoy working out after some time.

What’s on the menu for this evening? Greek salad! Without the feta cheese, that is.

X Lisa

Diet

I will start my diet.. tomorrow

Hi there,

My name is Lisa and I’m a 20-years-old student. After gaining quite some weight the last couple of months (due to eating too much, eating not healthy enough and the complete lack of sports in my life), I decided to go on a diet.

As many of you, I always told myself: ‘I will start next Monday’, ‘I will start tomorrow’, ‘I will start on the 1st of September’ and so on. The list of my excuses is endless. Nontheless, I really want to lose weight, so I decided to start tomorrow (as university starts again and I will be able to go to the gym more often).

So tomorrow it is, the first day of my diet. I will keep you posted on what I eat, how often I go to the gym and how much weight I lose. I hope this way, I will also find some motivation in not letting you down.

I am 1m76 and my weight? 78 kilos.

I would like to go back to my original weight of 62 kilos (-16 kilos that is). I plan on going to the gym three times a week (on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) and I plan on eating ‘healthy’.

As far as my eating habits go, my portions are too big and I don’t eat healthy enough. I will cook myself starting from tomorrow and I will try to cook healthy, but I don’t really have any good recipes for healthy food. So I guess I will just eat some lettuce with tomatoes tommorow. So please, I you have any good recipes or ideas or fitness tips, tell me! I am open for suggestions and I would love some good advice on how to handle my journey.

Thank you for reading my first post, I will try to keep you posted a couple of times a week on my (mental and physical) progress.

X Lisa